Entertainers Who Died While Performing

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List of entertainers and celebrities who died during performances. This list contains anyone who worked as a professional entertaining on stage, on radio, in film or television or elsewhere, who died while engaged in a performance, in any way. Though the majority of these entertainers suffered an injury or illness mid-performance, and died of natural causes, some were actually killed or were involved in some kind of tragic accident. Those involved in these strange incidents include "Dimebag" Darrell of the metal band Pantera, who was murdered by a gunman while performing in Ohio, or actor Vic Morrow, who memorably was killed on the set of the "Twilight Zone" film while shooting a scene set in the Vietnam War. Though the list includes performers of all kinds, it does not include stuntmen or those whose performances involved potentially life-threatening situations.
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  1. Former Megadeath drummer Nick Menza died on stage in 2016. The 51-year-old was performing in Los Angeles with his progressive jazz trio when he suddenly collapsed. Audience members delivered CPR, but could not revive him. It is suspected that he died of a heart attack.

    Menza performed on five Megadeath albums (making him the band's longest-serving dummer), before leaving in 1998 to pursue his interest in jazz.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 51
    • Birthplace: Munich, Germany
    • Profession: Songwriter, Musician, Drummer
  2. Jane Little

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    Photo: YouTube
    Bass player Jane Little played with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for 71 years. She died performing onstage when she was 87 years old. Little first started with the orchestra for free when she was 16 years old. Over the years, she started making a salary and even met her late husband, the orchestra's principal flute player, through her work. In the months before her death, she was honored by the Guinness Book of Records for playing in the symphony for so many years.
  3. Irma Bule

    Irma Bule is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
    Photo: Tribun Jabar Official/YouTube
    Indonesian singer Irma Bule died after using a cobra as a prop during a performance in Karawang, West Java. Bule, who sang a type of Indonesian folk music called Dangdut, routinely used snakes in her performances. According to witnesses, she believed that the cobra in her April, 2016 show had been defanged. So when it bit her after she stepped on its tail during her second song, she continued to perform. Fourty-five minutes later, she began to vomit and sieze on stage. She was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
  4. Raphael Schumacher

    Raphael Schumacher is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
    Photo: Raphael Schumacher/via Facebook
    In 2016, actor Raphael Schumacher was performing a hanging scene in the courtyard of Pisa's Teatro Lux when a spectator noticed that he was actually being choked to death. The spectator was a medial graduate and saw that Schumacher was trembling beneath his head covering. She and another person in the crowd helped get him down, but it was too late. He was taken to a hospital, where doctors suspected he was brain dead.

    The play's producers said that Schumacher changed the script at the last minute that day. The scene had originally included a gun shot, but Schumacher switched it to a hanging without notifying the crew.
  5. John Ritter is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
    Photo: user uploaded image
    John Ritter died on September 11, 2003 after he fell ill on the set of his show "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter." He was rushed to the hospital where he was misdiagnosed with a heart attack. He was later found to have had an aortic dissection, but it was too late to save his life.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 55 (1948-2003)
    • Birthplace: Burbank, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Comedian, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Three's Company, Sling Blade, Hearts Afire, Bad Santa
  6. Steve Irwin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
    Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock.com
    "The Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin died on Sept. 4, 2006 after being attacked by a stingray while filming shots for "Bindi the Jungle Girl." The stingray reportedly reacted to Irwin as if he were an attacking shark and stabbed him over 100 times with his tail.
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    • Age: Died at 44 (1962-2006)
    • Birthplace: Essendon, Australia
    • Profession: Conservationist, Actor, Zoologist, Voice acting, Naturalist, + more
    • Credits: The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, The Crocodile Hunter Diaries, Ocean's Deadliest, The Crocodile Hunter
  7. John Candy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
    Photo:  Uncle Buck
    John Candy died of a heart attack on March 4, 1994 while on location in Mexico filming "Wagons East!." He was 43 years old.
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    • Age: Died at 44 (1950-1994)
    • Birthplace: Canada, Newmarket
    • Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: SCTV, Spaceballs, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Uncle Buck
  8. On August 4, 1955, Carmen Miranda collapsed while performing on "The Jimmy Durante Show." She regained her composure and finished the performance, but she suffered a fatal heart attack the following morning.
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    • Age: Died at 46 (1909-1955)
    • Birthplace: Marco de Canaveses Municipality, Portugal
    • Profession: Pin-up girl, Singer
    • Credits: Scared Stiff, The Jimmy Durante Show, Nancy Goes to Rio, A Date with Judy, Springtime in the Rockies, + more
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